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Just Tell Me What You Want

My youngest son has language delay. ¬†He’s a pretty happy guy, except when he’s not. ¬†Before he had words, there were what professionals call “maladaptive, self-injurious” behaviors that had to be sorted out and looked at one by one. ¬†Was he in pain? ¬†Was he frustrated because he didn’t understand? ¬†Did he want or not want something?

He’s acquired some great language skills. ¬†But, there are still times I wish I could say, “Just tell me what you want.” ¬†I’d take care of it.

For 2010, I’m thinking of all our pressing wants and needs as individuals, parents, families, and a community.¬† It’s a wish list, an affirmation, a prayer for:

Children and adults to be more comfortable in their own skin.

Laws changed and new laws passed.

More services.

More support.

Better “flashlights” for new parents.

Less new parents.

More hope.

More autism breaks.


There’s much more work to do. ¬†I wish all of you and your children the very happiest New Year. ¬†I’ll continue to wish, affirm, pray, and work. ¬†And I’ll keep writing. ¬†Go ahead; just tell me what you want.

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  1. Patricia Bumpass says:

    LOL. I too sometimes feel like saying to my son \”Just Tell Me What You Want\” (except more often than not I feel like yelling it:-) It is so easy to get caught up in our own little worlds as we deal with this disorder that we forget there are other parents out there feeling the same things (anxieties, frustrations, joys, etc.)
    Thank you for this wonderful blog!

    I hope you and yours had a wonderful Holiday break and are looking forward to a prosperous 2010. Keep writing!

  2. bensmyson says:

    Momof3au you are a flashlight. What an appropriate metaphor. Shining a light into the dark world of autism.

    My wife will calmly say, \”Use your words\” when Ben is melting down. I, like Patricia, will tend to find my way tripping into his world of frustration and do a little melting myself.

    Right out of bed the other morning Ben said he was cold. Unprompted. How wonderful was that?

    How I long for the day to hear, \”I have to pee daddy\” or \”My tummy hurts\” or \” I\’m very angry, this toy is broken.\”

    In the meantime I will learn from my wife, calmly say, \”use your words\”

    By the way, when Ben gets around to finding his words he says, \”I wanna hit\” Maybe one day he will say why. Might have to borrow a flashlight.

  3. Kristine L. says:

    My new year\’s wish for my son is the perfect mary poppins kindergarten teacher who has a working knowledge of ABA.

    If I\’m choosing from your list, I\’ll take the money. ;)

  4. Kirsten Kainz says:


    It is such a rich pleasure to read your wit, wisdom, and thoughtful concern for humanity.

    Thank you.

  5. corlis wilkerson says:

    God\’s grace is sufficient for me. My prayer is to dream and believe the impossible for my child. I too understand what you all are experiencing with my wonderful awesome 7 year old daughter. She has made great strides dare to believe. This year is our childrens year to shine with leaps and bounds into the place they belong. We have the best of the best and they will shine as the bright stars that they are. Don\’t let what you see effect what you are believing and expecting. Just keep your light BRIGHT so they can see the way.

    Much love to all my felllow Parents
    Make it a great Day

  6. Leslie Pin says:


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